In Short (News)

Published: Thursday 31 January 2008

UK to cull badgers to check TB
The UK government is planning to cull badgers, the carriers of bovine tuberculosis (TB). Bovine TB is on the rise in the UK, causing 20,000 cattle to be slaughtered every year. But a 10-year old study of the government's independent scientific group, after a trial cutting of 10,000 badgers, says culling will not help reduce bovine tb. Ecologists say culling could lead to doubling of fox populations, the badgers' natural prey. This could lead to fewer poultry, the prey of foxes. They fear if there is an outbreak of rabies, it could spread quickly since foxes are its carriers.

China to trace its pollution sources
China has announced it will conduct a census of its pollution sources by June 2008. The national pollution survey will factor in industrial, agricultural and residential pollution and remediation facilities in operation.But it has left out vehicular pollution. The data collected will be analyzed in the second half of 2008 and the survey findings will be examined and approved by June 2009. Currently, 26 per cent of the country's surface water is unusable, 62 per cent is unsuitable for fish and 90 per cent of the rivers running through cities are polluted.

MoEF for framework on wetlands
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is set to come up with a draft regulatory framework for wetlands in India. The ministry has identified 94 wetlands for the draft. There is no legal framework exclusively for wetland conservation in the country. Conservationists have for long demanded the formulation of a regulatory regime for wetlands because they are fast disappearing falling prey to real estate development, East Kolkata Wetlands for instance, excessive water extraction and change in land use. Conservationists say it is important to take into consideration the socio-economic criteria for wetland identification under the framework.

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